Saturday, December 18, 2010
Book Review: The Extraordinary Cookbook by Stefan Gates
ISBN 13: 9781856269216
Dimensions: 225 x 275 mm
This is an exhilarating and practical cookbook for food with extra sparkle, full of bold, delectable and sometimes surprising recipes to create unforgettable meals. There are easy, interactive recipes for your guests to cook, dip or mix at the table - meals that turn a simple supper into a party. Stefan encourages the reader above all to have fun and enjoy playing with food. He combines unusual-sounding meals that he has invented or discovered on his culinary travels for the BBC, with simple classics that offer something magical.
You can discover how to make Roast Chicken covered in real gold, Stuffed Courgette Flowers and Glow-in-the-dark Jelly, or host a Hammer and Crab party. The chapters include starters for communal dipping, feast main courses to get messy with and extra challenging dinners for the brave guest and ambitious cook. Complete with miscellaneous tips from how to cook pasta in a balloon to making live cress place names, Stefan's enthusiasm and fascination for unusual food is irresistible.
This cookbook is pretty funny and I think that is what the author was trying to achieve. The stories and photos are good for a laugh. Some of the cooking techniques made an impact on me for originality. But as a cook book for a cooking enthusiast I don’t think it is anything special. If you cook a lot and watch culinary TV shows there isn’t a recipe here that you haven’t seen or seen an adapted version of, which is a shame. But as a visually entertaining and stimulating cook book or coffee table book for guests to look at it is great.
The Extraordinary Cookbook is one of those novel books that you pick up with great intentions of using to make some amazing meals but never seem to find the opportunity to. You really need to go out of your way to try some of these out and watch the reactions of your guests.
The recipes in the book are the most extravagant and unusual combinations of strange ingredients that I’ve ever seen. There are some culinary delights that would astound your visitors if you made any of the recipes, such as the Glow-in-the-dark Jelly for a kid’s party, or maybe even using the action figures for serving bowls. So many weird and wonderful combinations that you just wouldn’t think of, well not if you were in your right mind anyway.
Packed with over 120 exhilarating recipe ideas that will surprise and amaze your guests, this cookbook sizzles with the irresistible enthusiasm and fun that Gates brings to the table. Whether you want to host a Hammer a Crab Party or get the party fizzing with a Space Dust Fruit Salad, this book has all the peculiar and fascinating advice and illustrations you need.